R.A. Dickey Rumors

Blue Jays Acquire R.A. Dickey

The Mets have sold high on R.A. Dickey after the 38-year-old knuckleballer's Cy Young season, trading him to the Blue Jays as part of a seven-player deal. Toronto will receive Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas in exchange for John Buck and prospects Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra. As part of the deal, Toronto has also agreed to a three-year extension with Dickey. 

D'Arnaud, 24 in February, was rated as Baseball America's No. 17 prospect heading into 2012 and the Blue Jays' top prospect according to MLB.com. The catcher moved up to Triple-A this past season and posted a .333/.380/.595 batting line with 16 home runs in 67 games. While some have speculated that his knee could be trouble, the Mets have reportedly reviewed his medicals and deemed them to be fine.

Syndergaard, Toronto's third-best prospect as ranked by MLB.com, was a supplemental first round selection and the 38th overall pick in the 2010 draft. The 20-year-old spent last season at Class A Lansing posting a 2.60 ERA, 10.6 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 pitching line in 103 2/3 innings covering 27 games including 19 starts. Syndergaard's fastball can easily reach into the upper-90s with a power breaking ball and changeup that can develop into above-average or plus pitches.

Becerra, a native of Venezuela, played the first 11 games of his professional career this past season before turning 18 on October 1st. The right-handed hitter stands 6'4" and played left and right field during his Rookie League debut. Becerra signed for $1.3MM in July of 2011, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. He has athleticism and speed to go along with raw power, and could project as a power/speed corner outfielder, Badler wrote in March.

Nickeas, a Vancouver, British Columbia native, appeared in 47 games for the Mets in 2012. The right-handed hitting 29-year-old posted a .174/.242/.229 batting line in 122 plate appearances with New York. He has MLB experience in parts of three seasons, but is not yet arbitration eligible.

The 26-year-old Thole is a career .261/.331/.333 hitter in 1026 plate appearances for the Mets. The former 13th-round selection has served as New York's primary catcher in each of the past two seasons and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $1.2MM salary for Thole.

The Mets signed Dickey as a free agent three winters ago and he immediately became a fixture in the team's rotation. From 2010-11 he averaged 192 innings with a 3.08 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. Then, in 2012, Dickey's performance improved substantially. He led the National League with 233 2/3 innings pitched, 230 strikeouts and five complete games, posting a 2.73 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. He made his first All-Star appearance, collected MVP votes and won the NL Cy Young Award. It led to some differences of opinion on Dickey's value and some unique contract negotiations.

The Mets discussed an extension with the knuckleballer, but the sides didn't reach an agreement. The club exercised Dickey's 2013 option in October, which means he'll earn $5MM in 2013, and didn't appear to offer more than $20MM for the 2014-15 seasons. 

Many other teams had interest in trading for Dickey. Every AL East team checked in on him, and the Royals, Rangers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Nationals and Angels were also interested at various points during the offseason. Ultimately, however, the Blue Jays offered the best package and will add Dickey to a rotation that also includes Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was the first to report that the trade had been agreed upon. Joel Sherman and Mike Puma of the New York Post first reported that the framework consisted of Dickey, Thole and another player for D'Arnaud, Syndergaard, Buck and a prospect (all Twitter links). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports added that Nickeas and Becerra were the other two names involved in the deal.

Zach Links, Edward Creech and Steve Adams contributed to this post.

Blue Jays, Dickey Agree To Extension

4:01pm: Dickey obtains a total of $30MM in guaranteed money from 2013-15, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News confirms (Twitter links). The contract also includes a $12MM club option for 2016. Dickey passed his physical, Martino reports (on Twitter).

1:59pm: The deal will be official if and when Dickey passes his physical, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes (on Twitter). It's Martino's understanding that all other medicals have been settled.

10:52am: Dickey landed in Florida to undergo his physical, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Some of the two-year, $25MM extension will be a signing bonus.

10:42am: The sides are in agreement on a two-year, $25MM deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). The agreement is pending a physical, and the trade will be official if and when Dickey passes. The two-year deal would cover the 2014-15 seasons.

10:17am: Contract negotiations between R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays "have ended successfully at an affordable rate," Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reports. The Blue Jays will examine the knuckleballer at their Spring Training site before making an announcement, according to Griffin. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos is believed to have met with Dickey at his home to discuss a deal, Griffin adds.

R.A. Dickey - Mets (PW)

The Blue Jays have until tomorrow at 1pm CDT to reach an agreement on an extension with Dickey, a client of agent Bo McKinnis. Assuming Dickey's physical goes as expected, he'll join the Blue Jays along with Josh Thole and a prospect. In return, the Mets would obtain Travis d'Arnaud,  Noah Syndergaard, John Buck and a prospect.

Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com wrote today that Dickey may have been aiming for more slightly more than $26MM in his negotiations with the Blue Jays. In talks with the Mets Dickey had been asking for $26MM for the 2014-15 seasons, with New York GM Sandy Alderson offering $20MM for that two-year period. The 38-year-old will earn a $5MM salary in 2013, so extension talks concern the 2014 season and beyond.

Dickey joins a new-look Blue Jays rotation that includes Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero and former NL East starters Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. Meanwhile, J.A. Happ, who had been Toronto's projected fifth starter, now appears to be a reliever/sixth starter. 

The Mets signed Dickey as a free agent three winters ago and he immediately became a fixture in the team's rotation. From 2010-11 he averaged 192 innings with a 3.08 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. Then, in 2012, Dickey's performance improved substantially. He led the National League with 233 2/3 innings pitched, 230 strikeouts and five complete games, posting a 2.73 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. He made his first All-Star appearance, collected MVP votes and won the NL Cy Young Award.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AL East Notes: Ellsbury, Blue Jays, Dickey, Orioles

It’s been a busy day for AL East teams, with the Red Sox agreeing to sign Stephen Drew and the Blue Jays agreeing to an extension with R.A. Dickey. Here are some more notes from the division…

  • The Red Sox have been rebuffing trade inquiries about Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Boston can obtain a compensatory draft pick if Ellsbury declines a qualifying offer to sign elsewhere following the 2013 season, when he’ll become eligible for free agency.
  • As Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes, the value of the Blue Jays' prospects shifted from what they might eventually contribute in Toronto to what they can bring back in trades.
  • The Blue Jays aim to win now, even if it means surrendering multiple top prospects for a 38-year-old, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Blue Jays are betting that Dickey's success will continue, and as Rosenthal points out the knuckleballer is no one-year fluke.
  • Though the Orioles have been quiet to this point in the offseason, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun points out that we're still eight weeks away from the start of Spring Training. The trade value on young arms such as Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta remains unclear, Encina writes.

Olney On Blue Jays, Dickey, Drew, Rangers

Baseball people who have had the Blue Jays decline past trade proposals involving Travis d'Arnaud are “completely shocked” that GM Alex Anthopoulos has agreed to send the catching prospect to the Mets for R.A. Dickey, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. "He's out of his mind," an AL official said of the Blue Jays GM. Here are some more notes from around MLB, starting with Dickey…

  • One longtime agent not involved in the extension talks between the Blue Jays and the knuckleballer said a three-year extension in the $40-45MM range would be fair for both sides, Olney reports. It’d be a surprise of Dickey gets that kind of money, however. The Mets offered him an additional $20MM over two years and he sought an additional $26MM for that two-year period.
  • Rival evaluators believe this could be an extraordinary return for the Mets.
  • The A’s had interest in Stephen Drew, but didn’t want to overpay to keep him. Drew, who recently agreed to sign with the Red Sox, has declining range in the view of some rival scouts.
  • Olney wonders if the Rangers might pursue Jason Kubel if they can’t agree with Arizona on a trade involving Justin Upton. Some MLB executives wonder if the Rangers overvalue their own prospects, according to Olney.
  • Some evaluators say the Angels have an awesome offense but that their pitching staff lacks depth.

Reactions To R.A. Dickey Proposed Trade

Earlier today, the Mets agreed to trade R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays pending Toronto and the NL Cy Young award winner coming to terms on a contract extension by a Tuesday 1 p.m CST deadline. The negotiations have already begun, as have the reactions to the proposed trade.

  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson received the maximum possible return for Dickey, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio.
  • Bowden adds (via Twitter) the Blue Jays have gone from non-contenders to division favorites with their second blockbuster trade in a month, which netted them Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes.
  • The Mets are gambling Travis d'Arnaud becomes a perennial All-Star more than Dickey falls off, tweets MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.
  • The timing is perfect for the Blue Jays to go all in and deal prospects, but it will take three years to see if it pans out for the Mets, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
  • In a separate tweet, Martino quotes an AL executive who says d'Arnaud is "an offensive catcher. He's OK back there. He's always been a baseball rat. Good kid."
  • A talent evaluator echoed those sentiments about d'Arnaud praising his mental toughness to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger (Twitter link).
  • A rival executive tells Newsday's Marc Carig "both sides win" with this trade adding Noah Syndergaard has an advanced feel for his three main pitches (fastball, curve, and changeup).
  • Carig also tweets the trade looks good in the long view, but he can understand why Mets fans are upset for seeing more of the same in the immediate future.
  • Dickey did himself no favors with the pointed remarks he made regarding his contract situation at the Mets' recent holiday party, writes ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin. This wasn't the first time Dickey has irked management with his outspoken views, according to Rubin citing Dickey's comments about Citi Field and its effect on David Wright before its reconfiguration.
  • While some might dismiss the Dickey acquisition, it could very well be one of the most important moves made in what has become a fascinating AL East division race because the true separator will be starting pitching, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Bradford also analyzes the starting rotation for each AL East team.
  • For teams like the Blue Jays, this is the time to strike with blockbuster trades and free agent signings because of the weakness of the YankeesRed Sox, and Mets, opines Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.

Angels Sign Josh Hamilton

For the second time in as many offseasons, the Angels have signed the top free agent position player to a surprising long-term contract. The Angels have officially signed Josh Hamilton a five-year contract worth $125MM, the team announced. The deal is slightly backloaded and includes a no-trade clause. The outfielder is represented by Moye Sports Associates.

MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez and Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times have the contract breakdown (Twitter links). Hamilton gets $10MM up front and will earn $15MM in 2013 and 2014, $23MM in 2015, and $30MM in 2016 and 2017. The remaining $2MM goes to his charity. DiGiovanna and Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times report that the contract does not include any special language regarding Hamilton's off-the-field problems, though the team has hired Shayne Kelly, his accountability partner, away from the Rangers (Twitter links).

Josh Hamilton - Rangers (PW)

To the surprise of many, the Angels signed Albert Pujols to a ten-year deal at last year's Winter Meetings. One year later, owner Arte Moreno and GM Jerry Dipoto have struck again, luring Hamilton away from their division rival and adding him to a lineup that already includes Pujols and Mike Trout.

The Dodgers have generated considerable attention for their free-spending ways this offseason, but Moreno will not be overshadowed. Both Zack Greinke, MLBTR's top ranked free agent, and Hamilton, our top ranked position player, ended up signing with Los Angeles' teams.

Hamilton received and turned down a qualifying offer from the Rangers, which means he'll be linked to draft pick compensation. The Rangers will obtain a compensatory selection for losing Hamilton, and the Angels will have to surrender their top pick (#22 overall) in 2013.

Texas GM Jon Daniels is not pleased with the way the negotiations ended, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter). The GM did not get a call to match Los Angeles' offer, as expected. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Rangers had been willing to offer four years to retain Hamilton (Twitter link).

The Angels have shown interest in R.A. Dickey, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports (on Twitter). Perhaps Dipoto will pursue a trade for the defending NL Cy Young winner using Peter Bourjos as trade bait. Bourjos, Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo could be trade candidates, since Trout and Hamilton will presumably occupy two outfield spots for Los Angeles. However, the Angels have said they are keeping Trumbo, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).

The deal will push the Angels' payroll to the $165MM range, as Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com points out (on Twitter). It would represent a franchise record, but would not push the team past baseball's luxury tax.

Joe McDonnell of FoxSportsWest.com first reported that the Angels were involved in serious talks with Hamilton (Twitter link) and Yahoo's Tim Brown first reported that the sides were nearing a deal (on Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement and later added details (Twitter links), as did ESPN Dallas and MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter). Photo courtesy of US Presswire. Mike Axia cotributed to this post.

Blue Jays Working On Trade For R.A. Dickey

After a long day of rumors on Friday, the Blue Jays and Mets are nearing a trade that would send R.A. Dickey to Toronto for top prospect Travis d'Arnaud according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Other players involved in the deal are unconfirmed. Here's the latest on the potential trade…

  • It's currently a 3-for-4 trade according to Sherman (all Twitter links). Dickey, Thole, and a prospect will go to Toronto for d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, John Buck, and a prospect. Sherman says the two unnamed prospects would not be elite guys. He adds that the framework could change since the Blue Jays will send the Mets money to help cover Buck's salary.
  • Martino reports (on Twitter) that Blue Jays pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez has also been discussed.
  • Rubin heard from a source that it's unclear if there will be resolution tonight (Twitter links). A Mets official indicated the same to Puma, saying "there is a lot to this."

Earlier Updates:

  • As of this morning, the deal had four players coming to the Mets and three to the Blue Jays, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). Toronto also wants a catcher back in the deal, and that could be Josh Thole. The Mets have discussed getting pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in the deal as well, Puma tweets.
  • The two teams are inching towards the finish line, a source tells Passan (via Twitter). At least some players' medicals have been reviewed and a deal is imminent.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the two sides have agreed that d'Arnaud can be the centerpiece of the trade after the Mets rejected a Gose/J.P. Arencibia package (all Twitter links). Once they finalize the rest of the players involved, it's believed Dickey will talk about an extension with Toronto.
  • Sherman reports (on Twitter) that Gose is not part of the trade talks for Dickey. The Blue Jays are building a package around d'Arnaud.
  • Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays need to sign Dickey to an extension and receive a top prospect from the Mets if they're going to include d'Arnaud and Gose in the trade.
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post says (on Twitter) the two sides are still working through matters are there is confidence the deal will get done.
  • Dickey has not yet engaged the Blue Jays in contract extension talks, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. He also has yet to be asked to take a physical.
  • The Blue Jays are willing to include d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose in the trade according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter links). Any other names remain unconfirmed.
  • Martino reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays have been reviewing Dickey's medicals since yesterday afternoon.

Blue Jays, Mets Close To R.A. Dickey Trade

All signs point to the Mets trading R.A. Dickey, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The sides aren't progressing toward an extension, and Dickey's one-year, $5MM salary seems quite appealing to teams seeking pitching. Here are today's Dickey rumors, with the most recent items up top…

  • The Blue Jays and Mets are close to agreeing on a trade that would send Dickey to Toronto, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The names in the trade aren't finalized, but outfielder Anthony Gose is likely to be included in the deal.  The Mets also are expected to acquire either J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud.  However, the Blue Jays are looking to get more out of the deal if they surrender d'Arnaud.
  • D'Arnaud is very much in play in the talks, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The deal would be bigger, however, with multiple pieces going both ways.

Earlier updates:

  • The Mets may be landing d'Arnaud in the deal, Heyman tweets.
  • Travis d'Arnaud was a "must have" during the winter meetings for a deal with the Blue Jays to happen, sources tell Andy Martino of the Daily News (via Twitter).
  • Two sources involved in the talks say not to expect any resolution with Dickey tonight, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
  • The Mets and Blue Jays have made progress on a potential deal, Morosi reports (on Twitter). They aren't in agreement at this point.
  • It looks like the Mets have a good offer from the Blue Jays, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog reports (on Twitter). The Mets still appear to be talking to the Angels and Orioles.
  • A high-ranking executive of a team that pursued Dickey believes the knuckleballer is being traded to Toronto, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels said on MLB Network Radio that if Dickey is being traded it's not to Texas, Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter link, audio here). Daniels acknowledged that he had some dialogue about Dickey.
  • The Blue Jays are growing confident they will acquire Dickey, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 the FAN would characterize the Blue Jays as "hopeful" (Twitter link).
  • The Mets were interested in Buckel, though he wasn't necessarily being offered, Martino clarifies (on Twitter).


Los Angeles Notes: Hamilton, Managers, Niese

The Dodgers have dominated the headlines in Hollywood for most of the winter but the Angels stole the spotlight today by reaching agreement with Josh Hamilton on a five-year, $125MM contract.  Here are a few items about both Los Angeles franchises…

  • Hamilton's agents approached the Dodgers and the team did background work on the outfielder, but the Dodgers never seriously considered signing him, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.  The Dodgers simply didn't have room in the outfield with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford all locked up to major long-term contracts.
  • Don Mattingly and Mike Scioscia will both be under tremendous pressure to manage their respective teams to postseason success in 2013, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.  Scioscia is under contract through 2018 but the Angels haven't made the postseason in three years and the skipper seemed to be on the hot seat last year during the team's slow start.  As for Mattingly, he is entering the final year of his three-year contract.  Hernandez also addresses a number of other questions about both teams as part of his Q&A piece, including if the Angels signed Hamilton as a response to the Dodgers' high-profile moves.
  • The Angels are interested in Jonathon Niese and share an interest in R.A. Dickey with the Rangers, reports Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com.  Cerrone believes the Blue Jays also have their eye on both Mets pitchers, with Niese as their first choice.
  • There are still some outstanding questions about the Dodgers' financial situation and the status of their rumored multi-billion dollar TV deal with FOX, writes ESPN's Darren Rovell.
  • Earlier today we explored the reaction to the Hamilton signing and its impact around the league.

R.A. Dickey Rumors: Thursday

Josh Hamilton’s deal with the Angels will affect the market for many players, including Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Here are the latest Dickey-related rumors, starting with the possibility of a trade to Anaheim…

  • The Angels have shown interest in Dickey, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reported today (on Twitter).  
  • However, the Angels were not the team that jumped back in on Dickey earlier this week, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
  • Mark Trumbo to the Mets is unlikely, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (on Twitter). ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports that the Angels have said they are keeping Trumbo (on Twitter).
  • Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Trumbo or Peter Bourjos would not be a fit in a trade for Dickey (Twitter link).